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Wonder Girls Aims to Empower High School Girls in Rockland County

Wonder Girls Aims to Empower High School Girls in Rockland County

This inspiring, local nonprofit helps high school girls build strong foundations for their futures.

Wonder Girls, a nonprofit organization in Rockland County, wants to help all young women build the confidence, leadership, and business skills needed to meet any of life’s challenges. It designs customized programs for schools and community centers aimed to connect high school girls with a network of diverse, multicultural professional women who share their real-life experiences and offer guidance and leadership.  

This fall, the Nyack Community Center will host the core Wonder Girls Program, which consists of 12 after-school, interactive workshops led by women in all different industries. The teens will meet with the female speakers and mentors for small group and panel discussions and the workshops will follow the Wonder Girls Curriculum. Topics range from confidence and self-esteem building, to problem-solving and leadership skills, to personal finance, resume writing, and interviewing practice, as well as the requirements for future educational paths.

RELATED | Attend Wonder Girls’ Wellness Day in Orangeburg!

Teens Involved with Wonder Girls Gain Numerous Benefits

When listening to co-founders Natalie Maniscalco and Irene Zervoudis describe the mission of the Wonder Girls Organization, their passion, determination, and commitment is palpable. They believe Wonder Girls fills a need among young women to build camaraderie, and provides a judgement-free zone of supportive women that can share similar experiences, upbringings, and concerns. While the program teaches leadership skills, the founders recognize that not all young women will start their own company, become a boss, or necessarily attend college. Wonder Girls gives girls the tools, support, and confidence they need to set the foundation to become healthy adults and mentally strong women. 

“It’s so important for teenage girls to know that there are other girls out there that feel the exact same way as them,” says Maniscalco. “They need to learn to become the best they can be individually, without comparing themselves to others. Life throws so many ups and downs at us, and girls sometimes need to just hear that everything is going to be okay.” 

Another huge benefit of the program is the exposure to new avenues, career options, and basic skills to which they may not have learned about yet. “As parents, sometimes we need help in this world guiding our children, and through this program I am able to expose my girls to all the different career paths and opportunities that exist, that I alone wouldn’t have been able to introduce them to,” explains Zervoudis, a parent of three teenagers. The girls don’t have to decide their exact career path at this age, but the program offers opportunities to start thinking about where their passions and interests may lead them. 

Empowering Teens to Give Back to the Community

In addition to after-school programs, Wonder Girls hosts monthly volunteer and service days that are open to the public, as well as offering virtual, interactive workshops online that welcome girls along with parents and educators. This past year the group partnered with other local nonprofits such as People to People Food Pantry, Meals-on-Wheels, Keep Rockland Beautiful, and The Center for Safety and Change. Maniscalco believes “it’s important to expose the girls to new opportunities where they learn how to work together and support each other.” While Zervoudis acknowledges the benefits of the girls being introduced to the community service aspect. “The girls leave feeling like they’ve made a difference, which boosts their confidence and makes them feel like they can do anything,” she says. 

Learn how to get involved as a mentor, ambassador, or volunteer in the many programs and services it offers by visiting wondergirlsusa.org or following the nonprofit on Facebook and Instagram.

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Kate O'Sullivan

Author: Kate O’Sullivan is an editor for RocklandParent.com. For the past 24 years, she has taught ELA to special education middle-school students and for the past 15 years she has been planning fun after-school and weekend activities for her three children in and around Pearl River. What better way to combine her two passions than researching and writing about fun, local events?! See More

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